MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins have offered 2003 contracts to all unsigned players on their 40-man roster, general manager Terry Ryan said Friday.
Under baseball's rules, any unsigned player not offered a contract by Dec. 20 would become a free agent. And any major league player who isn't eligible for arbitration -- the Twins have 27 -- is automatically offered a one-year contract.
Those players will make at least the major league minimum salary, which will increase from $200,000 to $300,000 under baseball's new labor contract.
Among the more notable deals the team is trying to get done is a multi-year contract for All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter, one of three Twins eligible for arbitration. Left fielder Jacque Jones and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz also are eligible.
Hunter made $2.4 million last season.
The Twins were asked Thursday by Hunter's agent to delay the start of negotiations until after Jan. 1 because of conflicting holiday schedules. The delay isn't expected to affect the negotiation process.
Right now, Hunter is the only player the team has targeted for a multi-year deal.
"There's possibility that could change," Ryan said. "But right now, he's the only one we're addressing."
Hunter, a two-time Gold Glove winner, batted .289 with 29 homers, 94 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and finished sixth in the AL Most Valuable Player voting.
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